When relationships break down, many couples endeavour to resolve their issues through agreement. Reaching agreement can be a process of negotiation between the parties themselves — with or without the assistance of legal counsel or with the assistance of a mediator. At Walsh LLP, we have helped many Calgary-area spouses create parenting plans and support and asset division arrangements that have spared them the time and expense of court. We can also help you create a plan for your family's future.
Components Of Separation Agreements
Whether you are in a common-law relationship or a marriage, you and your spouse can create a separation agreement. Once finalized, a separation agreement can be turned into a court order, so its terms are enforceable by a court. Among the issues you can resolve are:
- Parenting plans: custody, access, child support
- Spousal support: amount and schedule of payment
- Property division: marital assets, pensions, RRSPs
Since the specific terms of separation agreements are arrived at through negotiation — instead of being imposed by a judge — people are more likely to respect them for the long term. It is one way to preserve an amicable relationship between you and your spouse, in particular if you are also co-parents.
How Lawyers Help
Often, separating spouses are in the midst of emotional conflict. Our family lawyers at Walsh LLP can help you to decide on the right forum to negotiate a separation agreement with your spouse. Among the options we offer are:
- Mediation: where a neutral third party helps you to reach common ground with your spouse
- Arbitration: where a neutral third party imposes a settlement on you and your spouse after hearing arguments and evidence
- Collaborative law: where you, your spouse and each of your legal counsel agree not to go to court, but rather to work together to achieve an agreement that works for everyone
- Direct negotiation: where your counsel negotiates with your spouse's lawyer to achieve agreement
- Lawyer-assisted settlement meetings: where you and your spouse, with the assistance of each of your legal counsel, meet together to negotiate an overall settlement
In all cases, we keep you informed about your choices and provide relevant advice and guidance. Whether we draft a separation agreement or it is drafted by your spouse's legal counsel, we review its contents to ensure it is consistent with your legal interests.
Also Serving Airdrie: Common-Law Separation Lawyers
Negotiating a separation agreement can expedite the process of getting a court to grant a divorce. To schedule a consultation with one of our separation lawyers based in Calgary or Okotoks, Alberta, contact us online or call 403-267-8400 locally, 800-304-3574 toll free.